God and/or the cosmos may be infinite, but nothing else is. Hence it is a lead-pipe certainty that human beings are going to run out of oil. The only question is when.
There is no agreement on this, but forty years from now is often cited as the moment when the world’s pipelines will go gurgle, gurgle, glug and nothing will come out except a gasping sound. More likely, there will still be some oil around in 2046, but you and I will not be able to afford it.
As the end of oil approaches, the price of this commodity, which was once sold for 10 cents a barrel, will approximate the current price of beluga caviar. Beluga, of course, comes from the roe of the sturgeon, a fish once abundant in the Caspian Sea. Thanks to the unbridled appetite of caviar lovers, and those who catch and sell it, the fish has all but disappeared. But even if its admirers had shown some self-restraint, it would not have mattered because the Caspian Sea itself is in the process of vanishing, thanks to all manner of environmental rape and pillaging.
It follows that long after the gas stations of America close down and the cars that once filled up at them have been converted to garden pergolas and jungle gyms for the wee ones, a few absurdly rich people will still have some oil or gasoline. It will have become so expensive by then that they will keep it in their wine cellars next to their bottles of Château Lafite-Rothschild. Thus, in the strictest sense we will never, as simple-minded optimists insist, run out of oil.
And speaking of the simple-minded, millions of Americans may agree with our President when he discourses on the subject. Herewith, a recent presidential effusion on the topic:
“I’ve been talking about gas prices ever since they got high, starting with this–look, I understand gas prices are like a hidden tax. Not a hidden tax, it’s a tax–it’s taking money out of people’s pockets. I know that. All the more reason for us to diversify away from crude oil. That’s not going to happen overnight. We passed a law that encouraged consumption through different purchasing habits, like hybrid vehicles–you buy a hybrid, you get a tax credit. We’ve encouraged the spread of ethanol as an alternative to crude oil. We have asked for Congress to pass regulatory relief so we can build more refineries to increase the supply of gasoline, hopefully taking the pressure off of price. And so the strategy is to recognize that dependency upon crude oil is–in a global market affects us economically here at home, and therefore, we need to diversify away as quickly as possible.”